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DISCOVER
School-based workshops for 16 to 18 year olds 
DISCOVER
School-based workshops for 16 to 18 year olds 
DISCOVER
School-based workshops for 16 to 18 year olds 
DISCOVER
School-based workshops for 16 to 18 year olds 
DISCOVER is an evidence-based mental health programme that is run in schools, to provide psychological support for students who are experiencing difficulties with stress anxiety and/or low mood. The aim of DISCOVER is to build resilience and confidence, and to help young people to find new ways to handle their difficulties.

Designed with young people, DISCOVER is an award-winning, open access and non-stigmatising approach which has been developed to address teenage emotional difficulties and stress-related problems. DISCOVER has been delivered to over 2500 teenagers to date, in academies, state secondary’s, grammar and private schools across London and the South East. DISCOVER is delivered in school sixth forms, by a team of clinical psychologists from South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust, who run the programme in partnership with school staff.

DISCOVER provides up-to-date and evidence based psychological advice and techniques for young people, in a confidential workshop format. In addition to individual student sessions before and after the group workshop. DISCOVER participants also get access to a newly recently DISCOVERbot, a web-based app which we developed with a group of 16-18 year olds who had participated in the programme.

The DISCOVERbot supports young people to maintain their goal progress and their continued use of the workshop techniques. The DISCOVER team continues to innovate in line with changes in technology, and is currently preparing an online version of DISCOVER to reach young people at home, and enable them to manage life stresses.

Evaluation is built into the DISCOVER programme, to enable the DISCOVER team and participating schools to review its impact on student wellbeing and learning. Each school receives a detailed report at the end of the programme, which analyses the students’ mental health outcomes and the work undertaken by the team to help them achieve their goals. These reports can then be used for OFSTED and other auditing purposes.

The DISCOVER team provides a range of staff training and consultation in various aspects of adolescent mental health, and student emotional wellbeing. We also offer sixth form PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) and wellbeing events and student seminars on topics such as:

  • The psychology of stress and wellbeing
  • Building emotional resilience
  • Managing exam stress and worry

These staff and student sessions can be delivered to whole sixth form assemblies to spread the learning from DISCOVER, and can be booked directly by schools.

Awards

2019 - Shortlisted, British Medical Journal. Annual Mental Health Award
2018 - Winner, Guardian Public Services Award
2016 - Award for Innovation in Practice from the British Psychological Society’s Faculty for Children and Young People


Coming soon

Widening our reach
We are pleased to be delivering DISCOVER to all sixth forms within the Harris Federation, as well as to several other schools in London and the South East. We have also run the DISCOVER programme in six new Lambeth schools during the 2019-2020 academic year, funded by the Lambeth CAMHS Transformation.

DISCOVER in four UK regions
We are planning to expand DISCOVER to new UK regions from 2020 onwards to reach more students in need. Funded by a grant from NIHR, Dr June Brown, and a research team from Kings College, London University are running a multi-site UK-wide research trial of DISCOVER in 2021-2024, to test the impact of the programme at a national level.

Teacher training in the core DISCOVER approach
In response to sixth form teachers’ requests, we are developing an online and downloadable pack of DISCOVER techniques and resources to support sixth form teachers in their delivery of emotional wellbeing and PSHE content to students. This new teacher package is modular, and is being piloted in several schools in 2020, and will include a training module.

Helping improve the mental health and wellbeing of teenagers who are on the edge of care
With Maudsley Charity funding, we have created an adaptation of DISCOVER, with the help of teenage care leavers. This version of DISCOVER will be piloted in social care settings to support and improve care leavers’ emotional resilience, during 2020-2022, in partnership with St Mary’s University.

Running DISCOVER alongside CAMHS
With the help of Dr Christina Loucas, clinical psychologist, DISCOVER developed and evaluated a successful clinic version of the DISCOVER workshop, for teenagers aged 15 to 18 who are on CAMHS waiting lists and are experiencing anxiety and low mood. This approach has now been disseminated by the DISCOVER team in Lewisham and Lambeth Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), with the help of child wellbeing practitioners in the Children and Young People's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme (CYP IAPT).